Iron Metabolism Disorder, Leukopenia, Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency...

Energy can be a hard thing to come by for anyone...

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People talk about being tired all the time, right?

We do lots of things...keep busy and bam! Why am I so exhausted? I started noticing how tired I got when I was in high school...but I was a growing teenager who did every extracurricular offered so that didn't seem too out of the "normal"...

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Onto the college days…

Starting college at West Virginia...to say I had a "booming" social life is an understatement plus a rigorous class schedule and multiple jobs... Why wouldn't I be tired? After a couple years of eating terribly + drinking one too many beers...I started to get other symptoms…

  • Stomach issues started at 21

  • Brain fog (not always but some days were worse than others)

  • Fingers tingling

  • Fumbling over common words

  • Anxiety

  • and of course… Sleepiness (and restless sleep)

It's funny what a poor diet can do to you. Want to know the SUPER ironic thing???? I was in school for nutrition! I was learning how food affects our body and not paying attention to how it was affecting mine.  Ok, it wasn't just food because these disorders actually mean your body has an issue absorbing these essential vitamins from food but I wasn't helping myself. Anyways, I still didn't recognize any of these things as symptoms...I went to the college doctors office and told them about my symptom that was hindering my "day to day" the most..."Why am I so tired??" and "Why can't I sleep at night?".... Note, up until this point...I've never had blood work done in my life... All I got was asked if I wanted to try ambien to help me sleep. I decided against it and that was it... (no blood work done)

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“Big kid” job and graduate school…

After my undergrad, I went straight into grad school and had a full time job in Pittsburgh. Sleeping at night had become a little better but the rest of the symptoms were still there. I definitely had an even more demanding schedule now that I had started my first "big girl" job and was attending grad school at the same time. Now adding to the symptoms....

  • "memory loss" not to the point of " I can't function"

…but I would forget odd little things...I'd joke about it because I just thought it was one of my quirks. 

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Making moves…

I met my husband around this time and moved to Atlanta from Pittsburgh. Mike (the hubs) would make fun of me because I was always the one out of the two of us who would get sick (he literally never gets sick). Though, any illness I got were super "odd" ones...Like infected salivary gland, Shingles at 24 etc...I still didn't see a continual doctor in Georgia and still didn't have any blood work done...

Then Mike got a call about a job in Texas...(he is originally from East Texas) and it was too good to pass up. We packed up the doggos and were on our way. When we first moved I was having a really hard time with my sleeping. I NEEDED at least 12 hours of sleep at night then I was still tired during the day. 

I FINALLY found a doctor that was going to be my primary physician after that...

Guess what?? I'd never had a primary physician before that, I had my pediatrician till 17 but that's it...( I was around 27 at this point ) I actually got a doctor because of recurrent UTI's and not for the sleep problems because I thought that was just how my body worked...So, I started there and finally scheduled my first physical as an adult. So, I had my first round of blood work done ever!!! and guess what?? My white blood cell count was dangerously low. Which can mean a lot of things...So he sent me to a hematologist. Leukemia was thrown around and the possibility of having to do bone marrow testing. We started out with just an in depth blood panel and ultrasound...Boy, that was not a fun 2 weeks waiting for those results. Then it came back that I didn't have enough iron in my cells and my b12 levels were low. Hey, HUGE relief...Since then, I have my up and down days...and I'm being treated for all of the above. 

I still don't have an overall diagnosis...though, all of those fancy words sound like I do. Still working on finding an underlying cause. 

Now, in very recent news...My sister and I weren't very close growing up but have become close as we've gotten older. We've realized that we have almost THE SAME EXACT SYMPTOMS!!! Craziness and she just asked her doctor to do a blood test...AND she was low in B12 too! A note, about some of these disorders...If gone untreated you develop more and more symptoms as you age. A lot of people don't know until they're much older. Interesting to see that it could be a genetic disorder and excited to talk to my doctor about it soon. 

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The Purpose of my little story…

The whole purpose of telling my story here is that we all have things that hinder us. Get to know yourself and your body...Listen to it. Do I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to go to the dang doctor when you aren't feeling good?? Heck yes! AND how important physicals are! I obviously can't do that ( though, I'm currently watching season 2 of Dr. WHO...So like, if the Doctor wants to take me back to tell myself..that'd be cool too) but for now...I'm telling you all. 

Just because we see the person next to us working at a rapid pace doesn't mean that's how we need to function too. We are all VERY different people and that's what makes life so interesting.

 I've had to learn to give myself and my body an immense amount of grace if I want to be able to do the things I love. I have had the beautiful opportunity to own my own business for the last 3 years and it's really hard to not "look at the person next to you" on the internet...but We don't know how hard it was for them to get to that place or how they got there or who/what helped them a long the way. So pay attention to you, your needs and once you put those needs first it's crazy the quality of work that comes out from that.

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Kiley Evans